Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Hoosier Girl – Alaskan Memories No. 1

My “adventure” began long before I set foot on a ship in Seattle.  I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say that you DON’T want to start a vacation hanging over a toilet at 2:00 a.m., when your plane leaves at 7:02 a.m.  I can still hear Bob asking me, “what are you going to do?”  My response was, “I’m GETTING on that plane”. 

Luckily, whatever bug it was, it was fast-moving and by the time I landed in Minneapolis, I was 50% better and 3 1/2 hours later, upon landing in Seattle – I was back in control. 

I stepped off the plane and followed the instructions to look for the red-shirted people from Holland America in the luggage area.  I hadn’t been there five minutes and up walked my little brother – in his ND t-shirt and his Florida shorts.  Enjoy those shorts today kiddo.  You’ll be packing those away until NEXT Saturday!!

We retrieved our luggage and moved everything to a secure area where the Holland America staff loaded it and moved everything to the ship.  We wouldn’t see our luggage again for another five hours.  We hopped aboard the bus, and began the 40 minute drive to the cruise terminal – enjoying the scenic commentary from our bus driver.  I snapped a couple of pictures of sport venues for the guys in my life….

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As for me, I was excited to get my first glimpse of the Space Needle – even if it was through the window of a bus.

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It wasn’t long and we found ourselves arriving at the cruise terminal.  A bus load of HAPPY tourists, disembarked and followed the signs to check-in.   Our home for the next week - the Holland America Amsterdam. 

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Now comes the “Disney World” lines – you know, the kind where you weave back and forth until you reach your destination?  In our case, it was the smiling check-in agent.  Cruise Documents – check.  Passport – check.  Credit Card for Sail and Sign – check.  “Enjoy your cruise”.  Thanks!!!!  Now, one last stop to get your ID photo taken and the FINALLY, we’re ready to step on board!  Notice my dear little brother carrying my backpack?  Yeah, he complained.  “It’s got FLOWERS on it”.  (He still carried it).

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We checked in at the SCENTSY Welcome Desk and picked up our Alaskan Cruise sweatshirts and ID information. We then made our way to the Lido Deck for some lunch and explored the ship to learn our way around.  This was much easier – compared to the previous ship we had sailed on, which was twice the size of the Amsterdam.  We made our reservation at the Pinnacle Grill (supper club), we booked our excursions, and then it was time to relax and wait for our room to be ready. 

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At 3:30, the announcement came that it was time to prepare for the Lifeboat Drill.  For those of you who have cruised before, you know this is mandatory.  Yes, it’s a “pain” to get all trussed up in this stylish garment, but for those of us who watched “Titanic”, you’ll get no complaint out of me.   I felt safe though – after all, we were assigned to Lifeboat Station Number 7 – my lucky number!!

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After our safety instructions, we stowed our life preservers and headed onto the outside deck to grab a drink and enjoy the “sail-away”. 

And now….a much better view of the Space Needle.  Goodbye Seattle – see ya’ next week!!

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